For 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, your roof can be exposed to a variety of extreme weather conditions: rain, hail, sun, snow and wind. As fall begins, it is an important time to ensure your roof is in the best condition possible for the upcoming winter. Heavy snow loads and ice buildup can put a roof system to the test. Fall is an essential time to have a commercial roof inspection.
The QuestMark online catalog offers a wide variety of do-it-yourself (DIY) products. We offer floor patch, coatings, floor maintenance products, along with the tools and accessories needed to get the job done.
Experienced facility managers know that re-roofing projects are time consuming and involve many important decisions. These include the type of roof system, method of attachment, type of insulation, amount of repair work to the existing deck and, of course, what edge metal system to use. An often overlooked but important detail during the planning stage of a re-roofing project is also ensuring that the project includes a high performing roof drainage system.
Having adequate drainage plays an important role in the life of the roof. When originally designed, the roof drainage requirements would have been calculated and the number and placement of drains on the roof should reflect that calculation. Your roofer, or specifier, can verify how many drains you’ll need, but a good rule of thumb is two for the first 10,000 square feet (and smaller roofs), plus one for each additional 10,000 square feet and no more than 100-feet apart. Consult an engineer to review your roof drainage system, especially if there are any structural changes to your roof or adding an adjacent wing or addition to your building.
Making sure that all the water drains from your roof is very important. The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) defines standing water as any water on a roof that hasn’t drained or dissipated within 48 hours after rainfall or other precipitation. Left unaddressed, standing water can cause several problems. First, water is heavy. Five gallons weighs nearly 42 pounds and an inch of water over a 10 x 10-feet. area weighs over 500 pounds. Second, standing water can deflect the roof deck over time, which can lead to roof leaks and even roof collapse. If your roof has several low areas where water ponds, consider adding tapered insulation during re-roofing to aid in roof drainage.
Keep it Clean
As a building owner, you are responsible for maintaining the roof. Today’s advanced roof systems typically don’t require extensive maintenance but keeping drains free and clear is something to check frequently. Good roofing practice is to inspect your roof at least twice per year -- quarterly is even better -- and before and after major storms. Remove the strainer to ensure drain leaders are free and clear. Also remove leaves and other debris built-up around the outside of drains and scuppers so that water can flow freely.
Assuming that the drainage system is sufficient, there are three choices when it comes to the drains during re-roofing. Rework the drains, remove and replace the drains or retrofit the drains.
1) Rework – Most OEM drains are cast iron and prone to rusting and cracking which can lead to leaks in your building. To rework the drain, contractors take the drain apart, clean, repair and often repaint the components. Replacement parts can be difficult and time-consuming to source depending on the drain and tiny cracks in the bowl are easy to overlook. The benefit of reworking drains is that the job can be completed from the rooftop without disrupting building occupants. The downside is that re-working drains can take several hours each, which may not justify the expense or extra labor.
2) Remove & replace – Replacing the entire drain and plumbing connection is not all that common because it is expensive and logistically difficult. In addition, much of this work requires a plumbing professional which can cause roofing delays, and gaining access to the underside of the roof typically disrupts building occupants. Unless the drainage system and infrastructure are completely unusable, this is not the best option.
3) Retrofit – For owners who want new drains on their new roof, adding insert or retrofit drains are a good option. Retrofit drains are installed without disrupting building occupants. More importantly, retrofit drains are designed to fit into the existing water leader and over the existing drain bowl, so they use the existing plumbing system. Retrofit roof drains have been commonly used since the mid-1980s. Most are made with aluminum components that will not rust and the good ones also feature a mechanical seal that does not restrict flow. In fact, the leading retrofit drains exhibit flow-rates that are as good as or even better than original roof drains. They also surpass the ANSI/SPRI RD-1 standard for backflow prevention in order to keep water out of the roofing assembly. Some are also available with coated flanges that can be directly welded to certain thermoplastic roof covers.
According to the U.S. National Climate Assessment’s “Climate Change Impacts in the United States”, the frequency of torrential rains in much of the United States has increased dramatically since 1958. The report, which was published in May, 2014, states that the proportion of precipitation that is falling in very heavy rain events has jumped by 71 percent in the Northeast, 37 percent in the Midwest and 27 percent in the South. With this type of trend, it’s clear roof drains require even greater attention and that building owners, facility managers and roofing contractors alike must be vigilant when it comes to ensuring that roofs drain effectively. Remember, always consult an engineer to do a drainage study if you have concerns that the building has been modified from the original design or water is not being discharged from your roof properly.
As a building owner or manager, you know how important a proper Preventative Maintenance Program can be for your roof. Every building is unique - CentiMark can help structure a customized program designed specifically to protect your roof with consideration of your budget.
Commercial Roofing Options Have Changed with The Times
As with every industry, commercial roofing is rapidly evolving to meet changing market demands. When it comes to installing a new thermoplastic ( TPO or PVC) roofing system, facility managers now have more options. Most thermoplastic roofing systems are mechanically fastened to the structural roof deck using screws and plates or oversized washers. However, a great option called RhinoBond has been gaining traction in the commercial roofing industry for nearly a decade.
Traffic deck coating systems are now available from QuestMark. These systems will provide superior waterproofing protection and durability for your pedestrian and vehicular traffic decks. The coating systems are able to bridge substrate cracks and are flexible in cold temperatures. They can stand up to the sun’s UV rays providing excellent UV resistance.
This is a question many building owners struggle with. The answer varies depending on each situation. Understanding the type of roof assembly and the existing condition of your roof is important to make a good decision.
It’s amazing to see the number of buyers who purchase roof systems with the primary consideration being the type of roof system that will be installed. So little time is spent on selecting the contractor installing the roof system!
The roof’s edge metal system – fascia or coping – acts as the roof’s first line of defense. The edge metal system ensures the integrity of the entire roofing system when Mother Nature has other ideas. Therefore, it’s important to get the very best edge metal system possible and not compromise on quality or performance.
In Safe Roof Series (Part 5): Custom Roof Hatch Railings, we discussed some of the features of a non-standard system. This week we answer a perplexing question...
Who Falls Through Skylights?
According to OSHA statistics, in 2005, there were 767 falls resulting in death and 79,310 falls to a lower level causing serious injury. Many of these falls were through skylights. Your first reaction is to wonder how can anybody fall through a skylight? Our partners at Safety Rail Source offer the explanation.
Fixed ladders may not be in constant use at your building—there’s probably much more going on inside your structure than on top of it. But you still need to remember the big picture. CentiMark is used to looking at things a little differently.
The Anatomy of a Custom Roof Hatch Railing System
In Safe Roof Series (Part 4): Roof Hatches we defined in general what a roof hatch railing system is as well as a brief history of them. We now will expand on the hatch railing description by discussing some of the features of a non-standard system.
Promoting safety is always a priority at CentiMark
New guardrail options are making fall protection even easier to implement. Knowing the latest OHSA regulations and installing the latest safety products tells our customers, employees and subcontractors that we take our work seriously and are proud to endorse personal safety at your workplace.
Safety and Roof Access Hatches
What are Roof Access Hatches?
Many roofs, especially low sloped roofs, are accessed via a fixed ladder or stairway leading to a roof hatch or scuttle. Most hatches are equipped with a hinged lid that has pistons or springs to assist in opening the lid along with a locking mechanism to keep it open. These fixed ladders and hatchways make climbing onto a roof more convenient than using an extension ladder.
CentiMark Corporation, Canonsburg, PA, hosted the 13th Annual CentiMark’s Southpointe Golfs for Children’s on June 14, 2016. The golf event raised funds to support Dr. Liz Miller’s Department of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.
Roof edge railing types, applications and installation
In our previous article: Safe Roof Series (Part 2): Skylight Fall Protection, we discussed Skylight Fall Protection. This week we move from the center roof to the roof edge.
For facilities, scheduled plant shutdowns help to maintain plants and equipment. Naturally, this is why a shortened period of downtime is critical. It is a great time to do work that cannot be performed during normal business operations.
With the upcoming holidays, it’s time to schedule your plant shutdown and flooring projects.
A major rooftop concern today is protecting skylights to prevent falls.
People fall through skylights daily throughout the country. Did you know that OSHA Standards (29 CFR 1910.23 and 29 CFR 1910.66 (a)(4)) require that all skylights be protected by compliant screens or railings? To be OSHA compliant, skylight screens must pass a 200-pound load test for most of the USA and a 400-pound force for CAL OSHA Standards. For product quality and load tested systems, CentiMark installs Safety Rail Source top quality skylight screens and railings.